We’re often taught that strength should look a certain way. That hardness and force are markers of power and the best means to get results. We see this in conflicts throughout daily life and in wars and violence across the globe.
Gentleness, on the other hand, is often confused with weakness or fragility.
Yet gentleness holds great power. Treating ourselves and others with gentleness helps us to respond differently to challenges, to choose wiser action and to build better relationships. It’s also a powerful statement of intent – embodying the change you wish to see in the world.
Gentleness promotes harmony
Gentleness is the practice of holding ourselves and others with care. It helps us to navigate our lives with ease and grace, rather than pushing and straining. And it enables us to take action that is steady and sustainable.
Being gentle also brings greater balance to our relationships. By relating with kindness rather than judgement, we gain deeper understanding of people. This helps us to create healthier connections and promotes tolerance and harmony.
Gentleness supports us in tough times
Gentleness is especially important when we’re facing difficulty. Being tender with ourselves in tough times helps us to hold our feelings and treat ourselves with love. And it supports us to soften and lean into challenges, rather than meeting them with resistance. This allows us to respond more effectively and to be more peaceful in the process.
Gentleness also helps us to forgive ourselves and others. When mistakes are made or outcomes aren’t as we wish, gentleness helps us to find acceptance and let go of reactivity. This isn’t about being a pushover. It’s important to respect our boundaries and take care of ourselves. Yet gentleness reminds us to be compassionate along the way. In doing so, it supports us to learn and move forwards, rather than staying mired in resentment or regret.
Being gentle isn’t always easy. It demands strength, courage and attention. But even the smallest of gentle acts can make a huge difference to our lives.